ORGASMIC SOUNDS: The Cold War.
The Cold War’s first recording doesn’t sound like anything on the Providence music scene, which is curious, considering they’ve lived here a while now. In fact, the Cold War sounds like it sprang from the late-’80s UK, the same scene that spawned gloriously murky and resonant bands like the Chameleons UK, the Church, and Echo and the Bunnymen. The melodies are moody, the guitars evocative, and the lyrics pleasingly plaintive. For that alone I’d recommend the band’s debut, Le Petit Morte, French for “the little death,” the Francs’ phrase for orgasm.
Not all the tunes are Brit-derived. “Cynics” sounds like the post-grunge of Greg Dulli’s Afghan Whigs, with R&B flavors in the rhythm section and some whammy-happy guitar work. The band’s absorbing moodiness also gives the record a kind of mysterious sheen that lends itself to repeated listens. The fact that the Cold War explores an atypical spectrum of influences gives it a fresh feeling, unfamiliar without seeming contrived. Singer-guitarists Miguel Sousa and Eric Smith, drummer Pete Lima, and bassist Kevin Bowden are experienced (with time in the L.U.V.s, Jagolinzer, and the Fantastics) and tight, but also crisp and exuberant, giving themselves enough leeway to sound like they’re still having fun.
Recorded at Machines with Magnets and released on the 75 Or Less label and digitally on Tim O’Keefe’s Cozy Music imprint, Le Petit Morte is smooth and precise, scripted but still potent, with colorful canvases of melody playing central roles in the sound, decorated by pretty arpeggios and some solid playing. Its seven songs, spread across 37 minutes, are beautifully recorded and mixed, and they serve as a great introduction to a band we hope will be entertaining area audiences for a long time.
The Cold War + Triangle Forest + Spanish Dancer + Badman | Aug 18 | AS220, 115 Empire St, Providence | $6 | 401.831.9327 | www.as220.org | www.myspace.com/thecoldwararealive
Providence’s DAUGHTERS have been on the road almost constantly since releasing Hell Songs last year, which means a couple of things: they’re killing audiences with their so-called “five-piece musical fistfight,” and they’re giving Providence a really bad name (which is good). The Daughters have been sharing stages in the eastern states with Coalesce and will spazz out on audiences in Europe with the Fall of Troy. The latter trek will take them to England, Scotland, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. We do not know how audiences there will react to our own car-wreck curiosities, but we do know that they will leave a Daughters gig wrung out, with spiraling eyeballs and a nasty ringing in the ears. Yes, they are insane, but these days “insane” is de rigueur. Daughters is unhinged.